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The Golden Rule in Customer Service

Empowering Employees to Take Care of the Customer—Always

Shep Hyken interviews Chuck Surack, Founder and CEO of Sweetwater. They discuss strategies for building a culture of amazing customer service and experience.

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Top Takeaways:

  • Good customer service and experience is a competitive advantage; it sets your company apart from competitors.
  • Empower your employees to do whatever it takes to take care of the customer, not just for today or one transaction, but forever.
  • When you focus on taking care of the customer, the rest of your business has a way of working itself out. Besides, taking care of the customer is simply the right thing to do.
  • Start creating an exceptional customer experience and company culture by hiring the right talent from the beginning. Look for people the with education and experience necessary, but more importantly, look for people who have “fire in the belly” for taking care of customers.
  • Once you’ve hired the right people, you must train them to the products, processes, values and culture of your organization. This training should not be a one-time event; it must be ongoing for the rest of their career!
  • Don’t punish the majority of your customers or employees for the mistakes or wrongdoings of a few.
  • Empower your employees and then TRUST that they will do the right thing. If you do this right, they will never have to say, “Let me check with my manager.”
  • Do the right thing for the customer, even if the issue isn’t your fault. Treat the customer how you would want to be treated—as a fellow human being.
  • When dealing with customers, remember that you don’t know what’s going on in their lives, either. Always look for the good in everyone.


“I empower all my employees to do whatever they need to do to take care of the customer, not just for this transaction, but forever.”

“Everyone in the company, from the receptionist to the warehouse folks and everywhere in between, has the ability to either add credibility or take credibility away from the brand you’ve worked so hard for.”

“Everyone makes mistakes. We’re human. It’s how you handle those mistakes that really sets you apart and makes you different.”


Chuck Surack is the Founder and CEO of Sweetwater in addition to owning ten other businesses. He is a frequent speaker and mentor and mentor on issues such as entrepreneurship, quality customer service and the pursuit of excellence.

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and your host of Amazing Business Radio.

This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions … and more:

  1. How can I hire the right employees?
  2. How do I train my employees to deliver amazing service?
  3. How can I improve my customer service and experience?
  4. How can I create a customer-focused culture?
  5. How can I empower my employees to do the right thing?

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